Christmas came early for me this year thanks to a special invitation to celebrate those special Christmas moments with Waitrose at the Waitrose Cookery School in Finchley Road, London. The evening was hosted by Phillip Schofield and I learnt how to make cocktails and cupcakes as well as sample the most amazing Christmas dinner, courtesy of the very talented Cookery School chefs.
You may be asking why I was invited to Christmas dinner in November. Well, throughout November and December, Waitrose are celebrating all of the different moments that symbolise Christmas – whether it’s decorating the Christmas tree, enjoying the first mince pie of the year, opening presents with the kids or sitting down for the main event, Christmas dinner with the family.
Waitrose are encouraging the nation to share these moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and one lucky winner will receive a very exciting grand prize – the ultimate Christmas dinner for 12 people. They will also be surprising and delighting participants every day with personalised Christmas gifts, including mince pies, chocolates and Champagne. Simply share your favourite Christmas moments on social media tagging @waitrose and #MakesChristmas and you could win the ultimate Christmas dinner for 12 people, plus lots of festive gifts.
I had never been to the Waitrose cookery School before but I put on my sparkliest Christmas jumper and when I arrived was handed the most amazing Stollen cocktail.
After the chance to meet some of the other guests we were introduced to Philip Schofield who talked about how he became interested in wine and his involvement with Waitrose Cellar. Then we were split into groups to take part in some hands-on festive food demonstrations, courtesy of the Cookery School chefs, before sitting down for Christmas dinner.
As I mentioned above, the grand prize is to win Christmas dinner courtesy of Waitrose so I’m glad I was able to sample it and tell you all about it. I love a traditional Christmas dinner and my starter was Gravalax, beetroot and horseradish.
This was followed with Organic Roast Turkey with Honey & Mustard Roast Parsnips, Roast Potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, Roast Onion with Chestnut and Leek Stuffing, and Thyme and Port Gravy. There were so many side dishes to choose from, including Devils on Horseback, Truffle Cauliflower Cheese, Caramelised Red Cabbage, Sprouts, Pancetta and Cranberries, and Carrot and Swede Mash. There was also a Sourdough Bread Sauce and Cranberry Sauce. The food looked amazing, smelled gorgeous and tasted divine.
I do our weekly shop in Waitrose and would happily re-create all of the food I enjoyed at home. Of course the Cookery School chefs would be more than welcome to give me a helping hand! After this feast we tried our hand at making Hazlenut Roche Cupcakes.
We finished with a choice of fine wines and cheese and I tasted a delicious Sherry Trifle. I have to admit to feeling very stuffed at this point, so slipped out before the Mince Pieces and Brandy Butter. I left with my box of Hazlenut Roche Cupcakes and I don’t quite know how I managed to try one before I went to bed that night but I did!
I really enjoyed my evening celebrating those special Christmas moments with Waitrose and I hope that you take part in this lovely competition to win the ultimate Christmas dinner for 12. Sadly Philip Schofield won’t be serving but don’t forget, all you need to do is share your favourite Christmas moments on social media tagging @waitrose and #MakesChristmas to win! Find out more here.